News of Zealand: Animals and Jewellers do the darnedest things

The world might be going to shit but at least the cops are saving hedgehogs.

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Feb 4 2015, 11:49pm


Image by Ben Thomson

New Zealand has spent much of the week recovering after Booker Prize-winning darling, Eleanor Catton, called out our "neoliberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians". But now the streets are quiet again we can get back to reporting on serious business: animals in outrageous situations and people doing dumb things.

Fans of Kiwi news will remember the hedgehog in Nelson who last year got his head stuck in a McDonalds cup and had to be rescued by police. It appears he has a mate up north, as another prickly critter did the exact same thing in Hawera. Once again it was the police who came to the rescue, as Sergeant Andrew Ross explains: "Once I pulled the hedgehog free it then became apparent that it may not have been after the contents of the cup, as there was a snail inside who may have consumed some of the shake and was now being hunted for its shake-flavoured aroma". Both hedgehog and the shake-flavoured snail survived the ordeal and were sent on their way.

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The only thing cuter than a wedged hedgie is an owl in a towel, as proven by this baby morepork at Wellington Zoo. Two months after being found by a member of the public, the little guy has his adult feathers and is learning to hunt using a moth attracting lamp. He was so cute he even made it onto the website Zoo Borns, the Internet's leading provider of cute pictures of animals born in captivity.

Who doesn't remember the creative brilliance of the Michael Hill Jeweller ads of the 1980s? The same man who used his special brand of intense-nerd to hock bling to Kiwis has now forked out several million dollars to show his diamond clusters to a world audience via a Super Bowl ad. The promo shows "real people"—aka people who are not all white—making faces and crying and/or sweating apparently because of love. Or is it because they are from a war-torn country? Either way, it's nothing a gateway bracelet won't fix. Continuing his world domination, Michael Hill will also be the broadcast sponsor for The Bachelor New Zealand, which I for one will watch the shit out of.

The sanctity of Hamilton's beautiful bridges was recently shattered when a drunk guy crawled under the Victoria Bridge (known locally as the Bridge Street Bridge and previously called the Hamilton Traffic Bridge) and began abusing passers-by. After swinging from the railings and closing the bridge for nearly an hour, someone known to the man talked him down. This was not before traffic had been diverted to the Claudelands Bridge (known locally as the McDonalds Bridge although the McDonalds at the city end sadly closed some years ago). This is the biggest bridge news in town since a stunt rider rode his motorbike over the arches of the Fairfield Bridge.

Also in Hamilton, the town's iconic Daisy the Cow in Garden Place is getting a makeover. After years of sporting the Waikato colours of red, black, and yellow, local satirical columnist Joshua Drummond will be repainting the cow with native birds. Drummond explained of his artistic choices: "I do really like New Zealand's native birds, and this project means I get to draw a whole lot of them, on a cow".

A poodle in Waihi was rescued after being stuck on a cliffside ledge for ten hours. The owners raised the alarm after Zac went missing and was spotted by a coastguard boat perched about 30 metres above the sea. A rescuer abseiled down to get the dog and described him as being pretty calm, but said he "could see it in his eyes, he knew he was stuck". Obviously anyone risking life and limb to save a dog is not going to be afraid of a bit of anthropomorphising. The dog and rescuer were winched up with the dog's paws around the man's neck.

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The stingray mentioned in last month's News of Zealand has sadly come to a sticky end. It turned out the one extroverted stingray in Onehunga Lagoon was actually more of an Olsen Twin, with several stingrays playing the role. This deceit became apparent when the lagoon was drained, leaving a number of stingray corpses exposed to the children who had come down to watch their long-tailed friend play in the shallow waters.

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In a story that will turn the stomach of even the most ardent cat-lover, the neighbours of an Invercargill woman with 25 cats have taken her to court after years of the felines pooping all over the neighbourhood. Forced to complain to the council after daily deposits on their lawns and barbeques, regularly sprayed with feline pee, the final straw came when their cats were ganged up on by the kitty commune.

Finally, if anyone is after a momentous keepsake of Robert Muldoon, a steel bust of the former Prime Minister is now for sale on Trade Me. The artist describes it as "unfinished... just like his policies".

Follow Carolyn Wadey-Barronon Twitter: @wowcat9